Analysts predict a shift in the $2 billion worth of investment in the ICT healthcare market from telecommunications and hardware to the delivery of software and IT services.

The IDC 'Australia Healthcare ICT Market 2013-2017' report, released today, has revealed a detailed analysis of healthcare spending in ICT.

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In 2012, the healthcare industry invested an estimated $2.06 billion in ICT and this is expected to increase to $2.16 billion in 2017 at a growth rate of 1 per cent per year.

The spend is currently dominated by investments in telecommunications and hardware which accounted for 33.5 per cent and 31.8 per cent respectively.

However both are set to show negative compound annual growth rates over the next three years, in part reflecting the pattern in overall market growth for these segments.

This also reflects the maturity of the market where investments in infrastructure have already been made.

According to the report, Australian healthcare providers have received large funding increase from the federal government.

However, there is there is uncertainty about the continuity of those investments as providers attempt to translate initial investments into outcomes.

IDC analysts have predicted that large transformational projects will continue to form part of the ICT opportunities within the healthcare industry.

But they are expecting a much slower growth rate, and a shift in investment to software and IT services in support of the platforms and process changes that are required to deliver improved productivity across the sector.

"Australian healthcare organizations are now challenged by the requirement to create an environment that enables connected care across all facets of healthcare provision, that can deliver more productive services, and ultimately reduce the resources required without threatening the quality of healthcare services," Emilie Ditton, Head of AP Vertical Markets for IDC Australia said.

"As aged care and chronic disease management become focus areas for the healthcare industry, care management solutions with mobility as a key enabler will see more investments.

IDC health insights research manager, Sash Mukherjee said the success of a connected healthcare atmosphere stood in the ability to give access to healthcare data to clinicians at the point-of-care, including the patient's homes. "The eHealth records and the NBN can be good foundation," he said.

"What is required in the future is to have policies in place for care management plans that involve the individual, the primary care physician, as well as the social support system in chronic disease, as well as wellness management."